Amid the several discussions of the heroin epidemic in the county, the Ocean City Council was asked Monday to consider expanding the resort’s economic options beyond tourist attractions.
In the waning moments of Monday night’s session, Tyler Dark of West Ocean City said it seemed like that the council had spent the meeting discussing how to make the resort better for visitors rather than focusing on the year-round community.
“This is a resort area and the economy thrives on tourists and outside resources that can only be brought through tourism,” he said during the public comment segment. “I think it’s worthwhile to spend time focusing on our locals and the crises that are happening, with heroin in particular. But across the board, addiction is something that troubles our area.”
Throughout the year, opiates overdose cases have risen substantially in the region and police have increased their efforts to catch and charge dealers. Back in May, the Worcester County’s Sheriff’s Office announced they had arrested more than 60 individuals, mostly small dealers, in sting operations. The investigation had exposed a network of users that started dealing to support their own drug habits.